Published: 13th July 2021
Pondy University PhD scholars complain of being mocked, threatened by faculty, when they ask for an extension
They said that students have been threatened with statements such as 'No one will help you during COVID, we will do as we please' by the faculty
Have professors been mocking and harassing students for not being able to complete their thesis during the pandemic? That's what students from Pondicherry Univerity have been alleging, at an open meeting held by the Students' Council. The Pondicherry University Students' Council said that the research scholars are being mocked by the faculty for the work they have somehow managed to do during the lockdown. They want a redressal system and a committee in place where such actions can be reported.
Research scholars across the country have been protesting and complaining about the problems they have been facing during the pandemic — lack of proper disbursal of funds, lack of access to facilities being the most common issues. The Students' Council conducted an open meeting and then wrote to the Registrar with their demands. They have asked the administration why the extension for PhD students, as promised, has not been implemented. They have also asked the varsity to let students return with a negative RT-PCR test and a redressal system to deal with harassment faced by the researchers. They said that students have been threatened with statements like 'No one will help you during COVID, we will do as we please' by the faculty.
"When the UGC said that there would be an extension for final year PhD students, we had asked the administration to provide an extension for everyone as all the PhD students were affected and they had agreed. But till now there has been no official document about an extension for anyone," said Parichay Yadav, President of the Students' Council. "The students who have not been able to work properly due to the lockdown and the resultant lack of resources are now being taunted and made fun of for the work they have managed to do in spite of the lockdown. We are asking for a system of redressal of such actions by the faculty and guides," he added.
The students have written to the Registrar, released an open letter with the same demands and also started an online petition to garner support from the students. "If the administration does not reply to the letter or take appropriate action in the next few days, we will think about how to take the protest forward and have our voices heard," said Parichay.